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Article Published: 19 Jan 2022

Supporting Women in Key Artistic Leadership Roles

Establishing a working relationship with an opera company is no easy feat. For women working in artistic roles, the challenge is even greater: A survey of recent opera seasons shows that women make up less than 30 percent of the directors and less than 15 percent of the conductors working on American opera productions.

To work toward righting this imbalance, OPERA America awards Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Conductors twice annually. These grants encourage companies to venture beyond their typical pool of artists and seek out women to work with their organization for the first time. For the second-ever cycle of this program, grants totaling $32,000 were awarded to nine opera companies to subsidize as much as 50 percent of the artist’s fee. Recipients will lead two operas from the 1700s, one musical-theater work from the 1950s, and five works written since 1991, including one world premiere. All performances will take place in the first six months of 2022.

The third cycle of Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Conductors will open this winter for productions scheduled from July 1 through December 31, 2022. Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Conductors are generously supported by the Marineau Family Foundation.

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